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You’ve been bitten by a dog, or your dog has bitten someone…what do you do?  Does a dog bite mean

the animal will be ordered to be put down?  Does this mean the animal is now considered “vicious”?  

Who do I call, and what are the next steps?  We’re here to help sort through all these questions and more.

what to do if you’ve been bitten what to do if your animal has bitten someone rabies information

First and foremost, get to a doctor and get patched up.  Your health and safety is the

absolute priority, and you don’t want the bite to get infected and lead to more serious

problems down the road!  Ensure that the healthcare provider reports the bite to the

Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD).  Should they not do so, please

contact the CCCHD at (937)390-5600 and fill out an animal bite report.  Be sure to

take photographs of the wound, and get copies of any and all medical treatment needed.  

These may be needed for future use.

The more information the better.  Try to obtain information about the animal's owner

including name, address and telephone number in addition to information about the

biting animal such as the type of animal, color, breed and name.

Depending on the situation, where the bite occurred and how the bite occurred all have

a lot to do with what will ultimately happen to the animal and what your rights are.  

Generally, the dog will be put on a 10 day Rabies Quarantine.  During this time, the

animal must be kept away from all other animals and people, and monitored by a

responsible adult to check for any signs of Rabies.  Should the owner of the animal be

unable to provide such a quarantine, the animal can be housed at The Humane Society

at the owner’s expense.

If the animal bit you without provocation, the animal may be deemed “dangerous” or

“vicious” depending on the severity of the bite, at the discretion of the investigating

officer.  Only a Judge can order an animal destroyed, usually during a criminal or civil

case.  If the bite is determined to not be your fault, you have every right to take the

owner of the animal to Civil Court to seek damages.

Ensure the victim is taken to see a heathcare professional if the bite is severe enough to

warrant medical treatment.  Report the incident to the CCCHD at (937)390-5600 and/or

fill out an animal bite report as soon as possible.  If your animal bit without provocation,

you will likely be held responsible for the victims medical costs.

Including, but not limited to, your name, address, phone number, and information about

the animal in question.

According to Ohio Revised Code 3701-3-29, the Clark County Combined Health

District (CCCHD) is required to quarantine all dogs, cats and ferrets that bite people.

The quarantine is for no less than 10 days and is usually done at the animal owner's

home.  However, if the animal cannot be properly quarantined within its home, it can

be held at The Humane Society for the length of the quarantine, at the owner’s expense.

The purpose of the quarantine is to ensure that the biting animal does not have rabies.  If

the biting animal had rabies at the time it bit, the symptoms of rabies will be seen in that

dog, cat or ferret within 10 days following the bite.

The animal must be kept in an escape proof enclosure, and continually monitored by a

responsible adult.  The animal should have no other contact with any other animals

within or outside the home, and no contact at all with people except the people living

with the animal.  The animal may be walked by a responsible adult, but must be kept

on a leash at all times, and without contact with other people or animals.

In accordance with The Clark County Combined Health District Rabies Control

Regulations, 3707.48 ORC, all dogs, cats, and ferrets are required by law to be

inoculated against Rabies by a licensed veterinarian.  If your animal is current on it’s

Rabies Inoculation no further action besides the quarantine is required.  If your

animals is not current, you cannot have the animal vaccinated until after the

quarantine is lifted.  Doing so could illicit a “false positive” for Rabies.  After the

quarantine is lifted, you will be required to have the animal inoculated against Rabies,

at the licensed veterinarian of your choice, and report the inoculation to both the

Humane Society and the CCCHD.

Rabies is a viral disease of mammals that is most often transmitted through the bite of a

rabid animal.  The virus travels through the central nervous system to the brain.  Once it

reaches the brain, the disease nearly always causes death.

This is a disease that is preventable in several ways:

Rabies is spread or transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal to another animal or

human.  Usually, this happens through a bite that breaks the skin, or contact with saliva into

an open scratch or wound.  On very rare occasions, it has been documented that it can be

spread if someone's eyes, nose or mouth comes in contact with the saliva of a rabid animal.

In Ohio, the most common animals to have rabies are bats, skunks, raccoons, foxes and

coyotes.  Bats have been the only animal to test positive for rabies in Clark County since

2006.  According to the Ohio Department of Health, the last domestic animal to test

positive was a dog in 2011 from Summit County.  However, nationally, cats are three

times more likely than dogs to test positive for rabies.  One reason we do not often see

rabies in domestic animals and pets is because of the availability and inexpensive cost of

a rabies vaccination.

As noted above, bats have been the only animal to test positive for rabies in Clark County

since 2006; therefore, it is important to understand the risks associated with bat encounters.  

Examples of situations where there is a probability of rabies exposure:


or with other sensory or mental impairment.

***Important:  If you feel you have been exposed to a bat, please seek immediate medical

attention at a local emergency room and explain to them that you may have been exposed

to a bat.***

It is always best if the bat is seen and can be captured so that it can be tested.  If you do not

feel that you can capture the bat, please contact either a wildlife specialist or CCCHD.

Note:  DO NOT take a captured bat into urgent care or the emergency room; they do not

test bats for rabies.  Please call CCCHD at (937) 390-5600 to make arrangements to

either deliver the bat to CCCHD or have the bat picked up.

The CCCHD and The Humane Society are concerned about the number of dogs, cats and

ferrets that go unvaccinated each year against rabies.  Rabies is a virus that attacks the brain

and nervous system.  It can infect all mammals and is seen mostly in bats, skunks, raccoons,

foxes and coyotes.  Once a person or animal becomes sick with rabies, they will usually die.

During our Rabies Vaccination Clinic, licensed veterinarians offer vaccinations for dogs,

cats and ferrets at a fee of $10.00 per animal.  One-year vaccinations are available to

unvaccinated animals and three-year vaccinations are available upon proof of a current or

recently expired vaccination.